Transforming. Intense. Eye Opening. Moving. All of these descriptions fall short of my experience viewing “The Fabric of Survival at Omaha’s Kaneko.

This collection of fabric tapestries was completed over a period of time by Esther Niesenthal Krinitz to commemorate her experiences of fleeing from the Nazis, along with her sister, during World War 2. Her intention was to pass on family history.

“I had no intention or ever dreamed of them being exhibited. I only did it for my children, for my two daughters.”

Fabric of Survival Esther Krinitz Collage
While she did not create the panels in order, they are displayed chronologically. Walking through the timeline of her family’s experience in the War as Polish Jews is heartbreaking. Especially since the rest of her family perished. Esther did find a new start in America, but her life was changed forever because of where she had come from.
Fabric of Survival Collage

Due to my own Grandpa’s experiences fighting as a German American against the Nazis, seeing the pictures helped me relate a bit more to how he must have felt. While I did take a few more photographs, mainly I just tried to absorb. Because of the intense subject matter, you may not want to take really young children. Although since the tapestries are not graphic in any way, I do plan on taking my children to see the exhibit this next week.

Fabric of Survival
Jan 15, 2015 –
Mar 14, 2015
KANEKO | 1111 Jones St

I want to write and write and write about how this story impacted my heart. Yet I find that words cannot easily convey the emotion of seeing these pictures in person. I HIGHLY encourage you to go see this exhibit that can only usually be seen on the East Coast. If you are not going to get a chance to go but would like to see more of the tapestries, please visit this website. My friends at “The Walking Tourists” wrote an excellent blog post showing more of the pictures. I think I was too caught up in the story to take enough pictures, so if you do want to see more of the exhibit online, please visit their site.

P.S. I recognize that this post did not make it online yesterday. We have had a bit going on around here. If you read my next post that will be going up soon, you will know at least part of the reason why I was too busy to get ths all organized earlier this week.

Author: neodyssey

My name is Gretchen Garrison. I started this blog about Nebraska in 2013. So far, I have written three books about Nebraska and Lincoln.